Mea Sorta Culpa 

I take responsibility for whatever you don't get

Before whatever future I have as a writer comes tumbling apart like Mel Gibson's next movie proposal, I must apologize for some offensive stuff I have produced of late.

The first offense was pointed out by S.M.—a nice lady I'm sure—who writes to remind us that good grammar is one of those ephemeral qualities that separates civilized humanity from dolphins, chimpanzees, crows, tea baggers or any other species alleged to communicate with one another. It would seem I put into a recent column the construction, "... that allows you and I to vote ..."

I should be, and am, ashamed! "... you and I?" Absolutely not! In the architecture of proper sentences, when the consideration is of object rather than subject, it is "... you and me."

So sorry, S.M. The only excuse I have is that I suspect my wife is slipping me decaf. Me will grammarize more better in the here on.

In the column printed June 30, I suggested that Rep. Mike Simpson might object to Nancy Pelosi being the most powerful person in the House and second in line for the presidency because the history of his religious tradition has been purdy darn male dominant. In offering that possibility, I must have made it sound like I don't like Mormons and at least one Mormon was offended. He asked "What did we ever do to you, Bill?"

I apologize to "cominginsecond" for not being more precise in my condemnation. I have nothing against Mormons. I grew up surrounded by Mormons, and except for them always getting a building to themselves right next to school property, I never much cared what they were up to. Many of my current neighbors are LDS, and more gracious and considerate people I have seldom met. No, "cominginsecond," I do not hate Mormons.

Mormon-ism, however, is a whole nudder matter. I don't like Mormonism. Same with Catholicism. Some of my oldest, dearest friends are Catholics, but I don't hold them responsible for their church having become what appears to be an equal-opportunity hiring agency for pedophiles. Other old friends are Methodists. My very own Mom was as devout a Methodist as you could find without going all the way back to John Wesley, yet I never once blamed her for belonging to the same denomination that gave us George W. Bush.

Likewise, I don't blame the Mormon on the street for the sins of Mormonism, one of the most egregious being the fervor with which that institution promoted California's Proposition 8 during the last election. Nor do I accuse Mormonism for being any more hateful toward homosexuals than an Ark-load of other "isms" that taint the naturally kindly natures of most Americans. Baptist-ism, Islam-ism, James Dobson-ism, etc. But the truth remains that it was primarily the Holy See of Salt Lake City that lent its heft to the passage of that proposition, and if the Mormon on the street resents being resented for what their church is doing socially and politically, maybe he'd better take it up with his church.

As to my unnecessarily catty implication that the LDS Church isn't the first thought to pop into people's heads when a discussion of remarkable women arises, I meant no offense to Mormon women. Yet it is not unusual for non-Mormons to hold such prejudices about an international mega-organization that was born in polygamy and to this day hasn't allowed a woman into the ranks of church leadership.

Lastly, I apologize to one of my regular hangers-on who signs his (her?) comments with the precious alias "Patience Dogood." After presenting my theory that rampant mad cow disease might shed some light on what has become of the GOP, Mr. (Ms.?) Dogood wonders how I could be so venomous.

Poor Patience, it is truly tragic that you missed out on the gift of reading comprehension. Venomous? ... certainly not. That mad cow theory was me being nice. Generous of spirit, even. But for less perceptive readers, I should have explained why I am compelled to develop theories that would help us understand Republicans. The mad cow idea wasn't the first. I have speculated that whatever the GOP has become is simply an inevitable result of somebody having to occupy the bottom rungs of the intelligence ladder, and there is no mystery in how such unimaginative minds would all eventually come to think alike.

I have also played with the notion it might be something colon-probing aliens have done to holler-dwelling Southerners in particular, which has since spread like mange from bumpkin to bumpkin across the land, leaving us with an entire demographic that can no longer tell their assholes from their elbows.

I don't pretend to know the ultimate answer. But I would rather idle my time away speculating on external, organic and natural causes for why the GOP would do such awful things—(resist extending unemployment benefits to Americans that misguided conservative policies deprived of employment, for instance, or their demonic hatred of all things Barack Obama)—than let my mind come to the most obvious conclusion ... the Occam's Razor solution to why Republicans are behaving as they do ... being: They are evil.

Be thankful then, Ms. Dogood, that I look for answers in mad cow disease or too many anal probes to account for people such as you. I'm sorry you don't like it, but it's better for both of us if I steer clear of that old tar baby of whose side God is on. You understand, I'm sure. Or maybe you can find someone to explain it to you.

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